Contax IIA with Tri-X and some thoughts

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by carbon_dragon, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. I'm pretty sure there was a Contarex version but I'm not sure if there are any modern Zeiss lenses with that design. it's funny about the lens shade. I have a voigtlander 15mm lens that has a shade!
  2. AJG


    There was a Contarex version which required the mirror to be locked up and the use of a separate finder. I have a Voigtlander 21/f/4 for the Contax that has a "shade" that is about 3/16" in length. I'm not sure how much it accomplishes, but it definitely doesn't vignette.
    carbon_dragon likes this.
  3. Zeiss had to work around two key Leica patens: the LTM lens mount rangefinder coupling, and their constant acceleration shutter design. The Contax transfers focus information through the rotation of the helical, rather than by a wheel on the lens cam. The Contax has a constant-velocity shutter.

    The Contax also has German over-engineering in spades. The Leica screw mounts were simple and elegant, and "precise enough."

    On the other hand, Zeiss had an iron-clad patent on the f/1.5 Sonnar design, which is why Leica had to license the Xenon/Summarit design, which wasn't as good. Zeiss also had an iron-clad patent on hard lens coatings. Thus Leica started with "soft" lens coatings.
  4. Well I'm planning to wrap up the testing this morning with the 21 and the 135. I got out my bulk loaders. turns out I have run myself out of TriX though I may have a few rolls in the freezer. I have a lot of Bulk rolled Tech Pan though. It's been sitting in a closet at 70 degrees though mostly so I'm trying it today to see how it goes. I'll have to take a tripod though and I'm not good with carry capacity these days. Gosh who writes these awful instruction sheets for bulk loaders?
  5. I'd say that the Contax was more designed to be used on a tripod, whereas the Leica was designed to be used hand-held.
  6. Robert Capa used a pair of Contax II cameras with 5cm F2 Sonnars on D-Day.The Contax II can be quite fast to use once you get used to the focus wheel, same with a Nikon RF. I know one photojournalist that used Nikon RF's up through the 1980s, he could frame, focus, and shoot all one-handed.

    [​IMG]Contax_Sonnar_Test_Modern_Photo_A by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
  7. Ok, just a few more pictures, this time with the 21mm lens and then with the 135mm lens. This rounds out the list. Here I'm using Kodak Tech Pan film (sitting in my closet, not ideally, but I put it in the fridge now. It was in a bulk loader). I also used a tripod this time! Tough to carry it along, but with Tech Pan at ISO 25 what was my choice, right?






    charles_escott_new likes this.
  8. What developer are you using?
    Like you, I have a 100' roll left over from 20 years ago in my bulk loader.
    You have much better contrast control than I ever did.
  9. On the Tech Pan I used Technidol. Still have some left.
  10. I should take my IIa out and use it!
  11. As a matter of fact I did. Nice little game. I haven't had great experiences with the other Tiny Epic games, though Tiny Epic Galaxies is OK. I like this one though. The little weapons you attach to the meeples is cool but kind of meaningless given you have the cards too.

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